Windows source code hacker gets two years

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A 29-year-old Connecticut hacker was jailed for two years for selling the source code of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

William Genovese, Jr. from Meridan, pleaded guilty last year to one count of unlawful distribution of trade secrets after he put the source code to Windows NT4.0 and Windows 2000 on his website for sale.

"I screwed up," the defendant told the court. The court also heard that Genovese had a string of previous convictions, including three computer crimes and a conviction for sex abuse.

Presiding U.S. District Judge William Pauley said that the defendant's past was the most disturbing he has encountered during his seven years as a judge.

"Mr. Genovese is a predator who has morphed through various phases of criminal activity and in the last few years has descended into the world of the internet and is well on his way to being a cyber predator," Pauley told Reuters.

Genovese also received three years conditional supervised release. He must also, on orders from the judge, register as a sex offender and have programs installed on his computer that monitor his online activity.

Microsoft first learnt of that the source code had been copied and released on the internet on Feb. 12, 2004. The defendant put the source code up for sale on his website that day and received $40 for selling the code to investigators from Microsoft. Genovese gave himself up to federal authorities a month later.

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